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Level: Advanced (Level 3)Awarding Body: Edexcel

Why study History?


The key reason for studying History is that it is innately fascinating, but it is also crucial for understanding the world around us. History has shaped all aspects of our lives and its influence can be seen all around us in our politics, architecture, food, literature, television. The History course at St Charles focuses on conflict and the clash of cultures, and their impact on politics and society. You will study the conquest of England by the Normans, the struggle between the West and divided Islam in the Crusades, and Germany from unification in 1871 to the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990.

Studying History at A Level provides excellent preparation for degree studies. It helps to develop research skills, as students are required to research independently using books, articles and source material. All examination is through essay-writing, and the course aims to help students to develop their skills in producing balanced, structured and convincing arguments. You will also be required to critically assess both historical evidence and the opposing interpretations advance by different historians. 

What can it lead to?

History A Level qualifies students for a range of History-related degrees, such as American or African studies, Archaeology, and other humanities and social sciences like Philosophy, Politics or Economics.

History develops a range of skills which are valued by employers:

- communicate complex ideas and information

- research and evaluate evidence - make balanced judgements on the basis of incomplete and conflicting evidence

- develop reasoned arguments

History develops understanding of other values and cultures, which is important in an increasingly globalized and multi-cultural world.

History graduates can, of course, work in education, in museums and archives and in the heritage industry, but are also strongly represented in these areas: Media, publishing, film and entertainment, Journalism, Local and national government, NGOs/charities, Think tanks, Law and Management consultancy

How is the course organised.?

Exam Board: Edexcel

A Level:  Students will sit exams at the end of Year 2 in Components 1, 2 and 3, and submit coursework.

Components 1 and 2: Route A: Conquest, control and resistance in the medieval world.

1. Breadth study with interpretations: The Crusades, 1095-1204

2. Depth study: Anglo-Saxon England and the Anglo-Norman Kingdom, 1053-1106

3. Themes in breadth with aspects in depth: Germany, 1871-1989: united, divided and reunited

4. Coursework

How is the course assessed.?

Internal Assessment

Students regularly submit work – usually in the form of essays – which is formally assessed in line with Exam board criteria. Students are required to assess their own work before submission using relevant cover sheets, and will receive detailed written and oral feedback. Marks will be recorded on the e-markbook to enable students to monitor their progress.


1. The Crusades Exam: 2 hours 15 minutes. 30% of A Level

2. Anglo-Saxon and Norman England Exam: 1 hour 30 minutes. 20% of A Level

3. Germany, 1871-1989: Exam: 2 hours 15 minutes. 30% of A Level

4. Coursework Maximum 4,000 words. 20% of A Level

What do I need to qualify for this course?

The General entry requirements for A Level courses are six GCSEs grades 9-4, including a Grade 5 and above in English Language.

Who are the teachers?

The teacher for History is Mr Harry Cooper.



Extra Curricular

Course materials and extra reading are available on the VLE, on Teams and in the college library, and you will receive advice on books that may be worth purchasing.

We shall be organizing museum visits relevant to the course (Including the Museum of London, the Wallace Collection and the National Archives), as well as attending Sixth Form study conferences.

The department has established links with a number of universities, including Queen Mary University of London and SOAS, where our students can attend lectures and taster days.

What Do Students Say About the Course?

"History really prepared me well for university, especially the essay skills I learned."

"The topics we studied were much more interesting than I expected them to be."

"The teachers were always available to give help and advice."